04 January 2010 | just south of Jolly Harbor, Antigua
Well, wouldn't you know it: we finally have some time to kiteboard but the Weather Gods are still toying with us. Light winds are forecasted, and we need at least 15 knots to get a decent ride. So it's back to Falmouth Harbour for us, where we can get caught up on boat chores and such as we await the arrival of our next guest. The winds are exceptionally light today - 8 knots and falling - but we enjoy a gentle upwind sail along the western coast of Antigua. We see a small shoal area marked on our consistently inaccurate charts, so I'm on deck, scanning the waters ahead. I see a light brown mass in the distance and yell back to Louis, "I think I see it...just off to starboard". I keep watching for the rest of the reef system to appear when I realize that's not the reef - it's a BIG ASS turtle! We've seen lots of turtles in our time on Scappatella, but this thing is HUGE! And there's more: we've apparently found the motherlode of turtles, as we sail along and see turtle heads poking up all over the place! After being mesmerized for quite some time, I grab my camera and sit up on the bow pulpit, hoping to get a shot of one up close. Sure enough, a turtle surfaces directly ahead of us. Poor thing - it pops its little head up just in time to see this big ol' boat barreling down on it! It dives down, just under the bow, as I furiously click away while it descends to the sea below. Maybe you can just make out the little-big guy in the photo above? We continue to sail along in the thick turtle soup for some time...a perfect end to our "circumnavigation" of the beautiful island of Antigua.
Disclaimer: no turtles were exploited, hurt, run-over or otherwise abused during the author's sail.